Rory was on a tear, seeming primed to return to the top spot in the world prior to his injury. It¡¯s hard to know exactly how the time off will affect McIlroy when he returns to action this week in Mexico, but he played through the injury in South Africa and still almost won the dang event. He can reach OWGR¡¯s top spot again with a win and a DJ finish of T-4 or worse this week. If he wins, we¡¯ll count that as an affirmative that the injury had little effect ¡ª and our rankings will respond in kind.
That there really isn’t much of correlation between playoff success and a team’s bye week. The last twelve Super Bowl winners, especially of late, have had later-than-average byes. Last year’s Seahawks won with a bye on the back stretch, but then again the Patriots won back-to-back championships following the 2004 and 2005 seasons after taking time off supremely early in the season.
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The average bye week of a Super Bowl participant is 7.04 for the last 24 teams. Four of those teams had byes in Week 4 or earlier. Even a small sample size adheres more or less to what we should expect.
Kids Daryl Smith Jersey If we actually put stock in the fact that teams that make conference championship games (i.e., win at least one game in the playoffs) tend to have later bye weeks than the teams they beat, we can still confidently say that an early bye week isn’t a death sentence. In 2008, the Baltimore Ravens made the AFC Championship Game on a Week 2 bye, because their scheduled game against the Houston Texans that week had to be pushed back due to Hurricane Katrina.
So fear not! Your team will not be getting hosed because of its bye week.
Last August, Berry signed a franchise tender and had a great season in 2016. The 28-year-old racked up 77 tackles and four interceptions, including two pick-sixes. He was also selected to his fifth career Pro Bowl.
One of Berry¡¯s pick-sixes happened in the Chiefs¡¯ victory against the Atlanta Falcons. Berry intercepted the pass at Atlanta¡¯s 40-yard line, sprinted toward the sidelines, turned up the field, and ran for the touchdown.
I am not a Johnny Manziel fan-boy by any means. I happen to believe that his off-field antics are a drag on his professional development and a bad look for a guy expected to be the face of a franchise. I also happen to believe that quarterbacks were, in years past, judged by the same measurements on and off the field (well, except, you know …) and nobody had a problem with it, but now all of a sudden people want to overlook it when it comes to projecting the kind of pro Manziel will be.
On the field. I don’t trust Manziel’s patience in the pocket nor his decision making throwing the ball downfield, both of which will be probably be inconsistent when he finally gets his first taste of playing time. Still, having said all that, it’s time for the Browns to turn to Johnny Football to try to win the next three games and get as close as they possibly can to making the playoffs.
I haven’t come to this change of opinion lightly. I doubt the Browns would make the decision to go with Manziel at this point without due consideration either. I started down this path last week. I read comments where Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer was reportedly “shocked” that he had been replaced by Manziel at the end of the game and that he still thought it was “his” team, before I watched the replay. On the one hand, having not seen much of the game, I was leaning toward believing the Browns were screwing Hoyer and that he hadn’t played that bad.
Elite Kids Shane Ray Jersey He missed eight games last season with a severe ankle injury that almost required surgery. He returned after sitting out four games, but he aggravated the injury and was placed on injured reserve for the final four games.
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Mangold was entering the final year of his contract and was due to make a non-guaranteed $6.1 million. His cap charge was a hefty $9.1 million, which will be cleared in its entirety from the 2017 cap.
Los Angeles Rams fans could probably use a reminder of Todd Gurley’s athletic greatness right about now.
The pop culture references are flying fast and furious here: Lord Of The Rings, Billy Madison, Lady Gaga, Jaws, The Office, even Air Bud. The caption is a deep cut reference from Good Will Hunting, which will undoubtedly please the thousands of Sullys in Brady’s fanbase. There’s even a nod to the infamous Brady courtroom sketch from Deflategate.
Of course, the only real lead produced by this “evidence board” is further proof that Tom Brady employs a covert cadre of well-compensated social media specialists to do his bidding.
Their gargantuan task: Make Tom Brady Seem Personable And Maybe Funny At Times. This quality entry should land the entire team high-octane kale slurpees come bonus time.
Cutler is working out and getting ready to play in 2017. He’s doing well in his recovery from labrum surgery, per Rapoport, and is expected to be healthy soon.
If Cutler is presented with a starting job on the right team at the right price, he will be under center in Week 1. If his best option is to compete for playing time and guaranteed money in a tailspinning organization, motivation will naturally become a major factor in his decision-making process.
Aaron Rodgers certainly has a place in the conversation of the game’s greatest all-time passers, but even the Packers superstar won’t ignore the truth after Brady and the Patriots stunned the Falcons with a historic comeback in Super Bowl LI.
Montero has slowly seen his career transition from being a starting catcher to a backup — eventually becoming pitcher Jake Arrieta¡¯s primary receiver last season. But when Maddon turned to rookie Willson Contreras to catch Arrieta in the playoffs, Montero bristled at the lack of communication.
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Womens Brian Robison Jersey Both parties say that¡¯s now in the past, and they got together to do more than just hash it out and break bread.
¡°It was about [the] present and the future,¡± Maddon said.
Montero, 33, is accepting his role as Contreras¡¯ backup this year, probably his last as a Cub. While Montero’s contract will bring him $14 million in 2017, he wants to continue playing baseball beyond this season. He also doesn¡¯t want to be known as a clubhouse cancer. He told Maddon he¡¯s willing to do whatever the manager asks.
¡°I got a lot off my chest because I care so much for the game,¡± Montero said. ¡°I care so much for the team, whatever it takes for me to help. If Wilson needs a break and [Clayton] Kershaw is pitching for the other team, put me in. That¡¯s my job. I accept it.¡±
But that second overall pick is appealing, and adding Hyde to the backfield with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman would easily give Atlanta the best running back trio in football, which will take some of the pressure off of rookie Deshaun Watson, who will obviously be drafted by the Falcons with the pick they get from the Niners. Watson used to be a ball boy for the Falcons, so bringing him home makes perfect sense.
Let¡¯s face it. Rams left tackle Greg Robinson lets defensive ends get past him faster than someone can finish sneezing. His play has been cringeworthy since the Rams drafted him in 2014. The 24-year-old is a liability on the offensive line, and he has been penalized 31 times in two seasons, which is the most by any player during that timespan.
INDIANAPOLIS — It¡¯s clear leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft that the Atlanta Falcons need players who can pressure the quarterback. Last season Atlanta finished 30th in the league in sacks, with just 22, ahead of only Oakland and Cincinnati. No player had more sacks on the team than Kroy Biermann with 4.5.
It just so happens that new Falcons head coach Dan Quinn has a close relationship with one of the draft¡¯s best pressure players.
While he was a coach at the University of Florida in 2010 and 2011, Quinn helped recruited Dante Fowler Jr. Widely regarded as one of the draft¡¯s three-best pass rushers, no one in the NFL should have a better understanding of what Fowler can do and how he projects going forward. In a sense, the recruiting process at Florida forced that on Quinn.
“One of the fun parts, whether if it¡¯s recruiting or going through the draft process, when you look at player and look at what that vision is of what that player can become,” Quinn said. “Sometimes, the player doesn¡¯t even know that. How good you can become? They don¡¯t even know. So, it¡¯s our job to pull it out of them or draw it out of them.”
Authentic Kids Luca Sbisa Jersey What was drawn out of Fowler is a potential top-five pick in the draft. He turned into an all-conference player by SEC coaches and finished his career with three sacks in Florida¡¯s bowl game against East Carolina.
Aside from the positional skill drills, the prospects are measured and timed in several different tests: 40-yard dash, vertical leap, broad jump, 3-cone drill and shuttle drill. Although Friday’s position groups for the on-field workouts are not the most entertaining, it’s still always fun to watch large men in hi-tech workout gear running the 40 and showing off their pancake blocks.
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One advantage about the run-scoring gap the Red Sox enjoyed over the rest of the league is that it allowed them to improve in multiple ways and not worry about overcommitting resources in a futile attempt to replace Ortiz’s missing 1.021 OPS.
Blessed with a ripe and plentiful farm system, Dombrowski landed one of the game’s best pitchers in Chris Sale to team with David Price and 2016 AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello. That, in itself, should make the Sox an even more formidable postseason team come October. Toss in Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright, and Boston has one of the five-best on-paper rotations in the game.
Dombrowski made a similarly bold but less ballyhooed move in sending out 3B Travis Shaw to Milwaukee for emergent setup man Tyler Thornburg.
As for replacing Ortiz, free-agent addition Mitch Moreland is at least a major defensive upgrade at first base. Hanley Ramirez will DH for the most part now, though John Farrell can mix and match a little more than he would have with Ortiz.
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Think of the pitcher across town, Clayton Kershaw, a man who clearly has reached a pinnacle of excellence few pitchers have achieved. Yet we wonder as he has missed a little time with injuries two of the past three seasons: How much longer can he be so much better than everyone else? And why doesnâ€™t he dominate in the postseason like he does in the regular season? His accomplishments are so prodigious that we recoil in anguish when he proves mortal in October — 4.55 career ERA in the playoffs — but maybe that only means his story has yet to write the final chapter, with World Series glory to be told, when history turns into mythology.
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The Dodgers have won four straight division titles. They also havenâ€™t advanced past the NLCS, and with the sportâ€™s highest payroll, anything but a World Series title is almost a disappointment. This Dodgers team, however, appears stronger than the previous four.
NEW YORK — Michael drove all the way from Alabama for this. Well, technically, Brandi Murray, the woman in a pearl-colored, sequined skirt suit running a hairbrush over Michael’s back drove him. Michael can’t drive, because Michael is a dog, and dogs don’t have opposable thumbs, which makes gripping a steering wheel difficult.
But Murray was more than happy to be the Finnish Lapphund’s chauffeur, because Michael’s big moment at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City on Monday was also Murray’s big moment: As his handler, she always has a vested interest in how brightly he shines.
So Murray brushed Michael near his little dog cubby, in the cavernous space of Pier 94 in Chelsea, as though he were a junior getting ready to go prom with a senior. She fussed over his tail, wondering out loud why it wasn’t standing up, then realized if she and Michael didn’t head over to Ring 7 immediately, they’d be late for the competition in which Michael had to prove to a judge that he was the most beautiful of all the Finnish Lapphunds.
The two of them took off, half-jogging over to the wide open expanse of green carpet where canine dreams of greatness either come true or shatter into a million pieces like a crushed-up dog bone.
Izzo’s biggest beef seems to be with Dakich’s insinuation that Michigan State people are only Michigan State people because they couldn’t get into Michigan. That’s not a nice thing to say, but it’s also a dig that’s been made probably thousands of times before. That Dakich has a vested interest in Michigan compounds the issue.
THE CALL CAME in from a number Magic Johnson didn’t recognize, so he sent it to voicemail. He’d been in meetings all morning with his new, old team. In the first few hours since the team announced Magic had been hired as a special advisor to Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, he’d met with her, the younger Buss brothers, Joey and Jesse, general manager Mitch Kupchak and dozens of team staffers.
Magic’s phone had been buzzing the whole time. But the point of this day was to show up at the Lakers offices and be present, let everyone see him again and start wrapping his head around the monumental job of resurrecting the franchise he’d led to glory as a player. Besides, most of the calls were congratulations from friends and old teammates — the sort of short, pithy “way to go” texts and voicemails that can be answered or acknowledged in a few days.
But after Magic listened to this particular voicemail, he knew it demanded a quick reply. It was Lakers co-owner and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss, and he wanted to know the same thing the rest of the basketball world did: What’s next?
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What’s next for Buss, mentored and authorized by his late father, longtime Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, to run basketball operations? What’s next for Kupchak, the Lakers’ day-to-day decision-maker since 2000?
And what’s next for Magic? Was he there to advise Jeanie? Or to start running the organization like he once ran a fast break?
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Rockets GM Daryl Morey is noted for trades, small and large. He made one during last season’s 41-41 season and another two years ago when the team reached the Western Conference finals.
According to sources, the Rockets expressed interest in acquiring another shooter and were in serious discussions with Cleveland for a Mike Dunleavy Jr. deal which would have included K.J. McDaniels but pulled out. Dunleavy Jr. was later traded to Atlanta.
Elite Kids Pete Maravich Jersey Re-sign Chris Baker. While he isn’t the biggest name on Washington’s defense, Baker proved to be an effective 3-4 defensive end for Joe Barry before Jay Gruden fired his defensive coordinator in January. Washington should stay in a similar scheme under promoted replacement Greg Manusky, and it has precious little at defensive end besides Baker, who will turn 30 in October.
A former undrafted free agent, Baker was a bargain on the three-year, $9 million deal he signed before the 2014 season, but he will deservedly seek a much larger extension after recording 27 knockdowns over the past two seasons. After Cousins, Baker should be Washington’s top priority.
Bring back Pierre Garcon. As much as it seems like Washington might want to consider bringing back Jackson, Garcon has been the more impactful player on the field. Since Cousins took over as the full-time starter at the beginning of the 2015 season, he has a 101.6 passer rating with Jackson on the field and a 95.8 passer rating with Jackson either inactive or on the sideline. His QBR is virtually identical: 75.1 with Jackson around, 73.9 with Jackson out.
Elite Casey Hayward Jersey It’s a smaller sample, but there has been a much more notable difference with Garcon missing. Cousins has posted a 102.4 passer rating and 75.9 QBR with Garcon on the field. In 176 dropbacks without Garcon, Cousins’ passer rating has dropped to 81.7 and his QBR to 65.5. Garcon is probably on the downside of his career and turns 31 in August, but he’s still useful enough to justify keeping around for two more seasons.
â€œI’m inclined to place a bit more weight on this feedback because the Hall of Fame belongs to them, not to me or any of the 45 other media members who comprise the group of selectors,â€ Carucci said.
Only two Hall of Famers voted on the slate of candidates this year, and they fall on opposite sides of the argument.
Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney faced the heat from the local press on Tuesday after firing Claude Julien, and painted a picture of a franchise¡¯s vision and a coach¡¯s vision not in alignment.
What were those visions? Sweeney wasn¡¯t entirely clear. But he and interim coach Bruce Cassidy were clear about their intentions: to change the philosophy and style of the Bruins in the middle of the season and with the playoffs within their grasp.
Limited Youth Lorenzo Taliaferro Jersey It¡¯s an ambitious plan, and one that leaves the spotlight squarely on Sweeney¡¯s management decisions now.
¡°This is an opportunity for a new set of eyes to come in, a new voice for our players to start to hear,¡± Sweeney said. ¡°And hopefully their ears perked up.”
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By the end of his Nashville career, Trotz ended up taking the Predators to seven playoffs during his 15-year coaching tenure.
The Minnesota Wild also proved successful with their hire of Jacques Lemaire. The former Devils head coach was the best of the bunch, as Lemaire led New Jersey to a Stanley Cup just five years prior. Not only was Lemaire the best option, he may have been the only option, as Minnesota general manager Doug Risebrough played with Lemaire during their playing days together in Montreal.
Lemaire coached eight seasons behind the Wild bench, but made it to the playoffs only three times.
One can give him excuses such as his younger age of 22, or the fact that he has averaged only 8:24 of ice time per game this season. But even so, he hasn¡¯t done anything positive when he is on the ice. You can see he ¡°tries¡± hard when he is out there, but that doesn¡¯t matter considering he has a measly one assist in 29 games and is 615th out of 618 skaters in corsi at 39.5%.